The Sunday Blog, Jan. 19


The Sunday Blog comes at you after a rare date night which included “American Hustle” and a late dinner. This is how you people without children live, eh?

I. I can’t help myself. I know it’s early but I start looking at bracketologists and RPIs around this time of year. It’s kind of like looking at BCS standings in October. It’s something to talk about. So forgive the Sunday Blog if you don’t care about something that will change drastically in eight weeks. Still, when the committee looks at teams it looks at how they played away from home and I thought I’d show you how the SEC has done away from its campuses (road games and neutral sites):

1. Ole Miss 5-1.

2. Florida 5-2.

    Missouri 5-2.

4. LSU 4-3.

5. Tennessee 3-4.

6. Mississippi State 2-4.

    Kentucky 2-4.

8. Vanderbilt 2-5.

9. South Carolina 2-6.

10. Arkansas 1-4.

      Texas A&M 1-4.

12. Georgia 1-6.

13. Auburn 0-4.

14. Alabama 0-7.

That’s pretty pathetic, four teams with winning records away from home. It’s one reason why the league is going to struggle to get teams into a tournament that’s begging power conferences to represent. I’ll have more on the SEC’s plight later in the week. I think.

II. After watching a lot of basketball over the last month or so I think the third best team in the SEC is Tennessee. The Vols have two big guys who can score even if they can’t jump and a deep bench. They are hovering inside the bubble right now. Two nice wins over Virginia and Xavier are countered by losses to UTEP and at home to Texas A&M. I just know that if I was a six-seed I’d hate to be facing 11th-seeded Tennessee, which has a track record for getting better as the season wears on, in a first-round game.

III. Remember when we saw Kansas in Gainesville and marveled at their athleticism and talent but wondered how long it would take them to grow up? Well, according to Jerry Palm’s latest RPI rankings, the Jayhawks are ranked No. 1 despite four losses. Kansas has no bad losses and just won three games in six days over teams ranked in the top 16 in RPI.

IV. One thing we have learned this season in both football and basketball at Florida is the only injury report that matters is when Will Muschamp or Billy Donovan says a player is “out.” Anything else is meaningless. Casey Prather was supposed to see limited minutes against Auburn and instead played 29 minutes and was the star of the game with 21 points and six rebounds. How much of it is gamesmanship and how much of it is guy’s just getting better in the last 24 hours before a game? It’s funny how in football, it seemed to be the opposite. Guys we thought might play often did not. Of course, in football, a tweaked knee turned out to be a torn ligament.